VA-API 1.3 Readies Broadwell Support, Adds VP8 Decoding
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 18 March 2014 at 05:17 AM EDT. 4 Comments
Intel's Haihao Xiang has announced the VA-API 1.3.0 pre1 release. The big theme of VA-API 1.3 is VP8 and Broadwell support.

When it comes to the first pre-release for the VA-API video acceleration library itself (libva) there's API additions to now support VP8 video decoding. The libva 1.3.0 code also has enhancements to the Video Acceleration trace utility. In terms of VA-API drivers supporting VP8 hardware video decoding, the first to do so will be Intel's driver for next-generation Broadwell processors. It's great to see VP8 finally being supported but there is not yet VP8 encoding support nor any VP9 support when it comes to the open-source video format from Google.

The most notable change with the Intel VA-API driver update for the open-source Video Acceleration API is support for Broadwell's graphics processor. Broadwell isn't going to be released yet for a few months it appears, but the open-source Linux graphics support largely appears to be in good shape with VA-API 1.3, Mesa 10.2+, Linux 3.14+, xf86-video-intel 3.0, etc.

The Intel VA-API driver 1.3.0 release supports Broadwell hardware with H.264, MPEG-2, VC-1, JPEG, and VP8 video hardware decoding support. On the encoding side is hardware support with Broadwell for H.264 and MPEG-2 (sadly no VC-1 or VP8 video encoding). The VA-API driver has hardware video post-processing support for CSC, scaling, noise reduction, deinterlacing, sharpening, and color balancing. This Broadwell hardware enablement is the main work of the Intel video acceleration driver update with there just being one other unrelated bug fix to 1.3.0-pre1.

Overall Broadwell is looking very exciting from both a hardware and Linux support perspective. On a processor side Broadwell will be a great evolutionary upgrade to Haswell while the graphics processor should be a big breakthrough for Intel HD/Iris Graphics. We're exciting to get our hands on Intel's Broadwell CPUs for our usual Intel launch-day Linux reviews.

Those wishing to download this latest Intel VA-API driver release can find the source link via this mailing list post.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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